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Learn from the experiences of human rights defenders by browsing and searching our previous New Tactics Conversations. You can search for a particular topic or geographic region and find human rights defenders you can connect with. Or, see the entire list of topics on one page.


Engaging the United Nations Human Rights Council

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Thank you for joining the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) and the New Tactics online community for an online conversation on Engaging the United Nations Human Rights Council from February 11 to 15.

The Human Rights Council (HRC) is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. When utilized strategically, the HRC can be a powerful force for change. There are several different ways that human rights organizations can engage the HRC, including: providing reports for the Universal Periodic Review, sending complaints to the Special Procedures, and raising situations of human rights violations in the plenary sessions of the HRC. The key is to know when to use which approach, and how to maximize your efforts.

Using Humor to Expose the Ridiculous

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Thank you for joining Tactical Tech and the New Tactics online community for an online conversation on Using Humor to Expose the Ridiculous from January 14 to 18. All over the world, activists use humour, irony, satire, parody and lampooning to express dissent and challenge the absurdities of institutional power. Through culture jamming, which embodies all these tactics and more, they interrupt the flow of information controlled by governments, corporations, the advertising industry, media corporations, fundamental religious leaders and other powerful people in society. In doing so, they expose the lies, deceptions and sheer absurdities in their speech.

This online conversation was an opportunity to exchange experiences, lessons-learned and ideas among practitioners using humor to challenge regimes and societies, and provoke citizens to reevaluate the way they think, and sometimes even push them to join them in their campaigns.

Share your 2012 human rights accomplishments

In our on-going work to protect and promote human rights, it is important to acknowledge our accomplishments - no matter how small. Human rights work is a powerful and fulfilling vocation. And it is equally challenging for human rights practitioners, which is why it is important to take the time to appreciate what we've achieved.

Here at New Tactics, we know that human rights work victories come in all sizes. Achieving even small tactical goals are important steps towards reaching your human rights goals.

We invite you to take a moment to reflect on the human rights victories you've accomplished - big or small. Let's recognize and celebrate these important accomplishments. Share one or two accomplishments to this conversation by adding your comments below.

Thank you, and congratulations on all of your human rights accomplishments!

Engaging Youth in Nonviolent Activism

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Thank you for joining the Women Peacemakers Program (WPP) and the New Tactics community for an online dialogue on Engaging Youth in Nonviolent Activism. The role of youth in starting and leading nonviolent uprisings has received a lot of attention in recent months, sparked by the Arab Spring and the Occupy movements. As history has shown before, the energy of young people is crucial to create the spark that can ignite into a vibrant movement for change. It is WPP’s experience that all over the world, young people are working to make a difference. These young women and men not only question the world around them, they are also creative in formulating new and daring responses. They do so, using their own language and strategies as to reach out to as many people as possible.<--break->Activism is often presented as age-neutral. However, it is important to explore further who is actually ‘doing’ the activism. Often, an important proportion of social change movements is made up by young people.  What motivates youth to go out on the streets?  What obstacles do they face?  Where do they go after the change is achieved? This dialogue was an opportunity for youth and activists of all ages to explore the powerful role of youth in nonviolent activism. 

Empowering communities with technology tools to protect children

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Thank you for joining Linda Raftree of Plan International USA and the New Tactics community for this conversation! Children have rights, including the right to be protected from violence, exploitation and abuse.  Yet, millions of children around the world suffer from threats at home, at school, in their communities, in institutions, while working, or when they are separated from their families.  To address this issue, new technology tools are being developed and adapted to support communities’ efforts to protect children. 

Cultural Resistance: The arts of protest

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Thank you for joining Nadine Bloch and the New Tactics community for this conversation on Cultural Resistance. Cultural resistance is the broad use of arts, literature, and traditional practices to challenge or fight unjust or oppressive systems and/or power holders within the context of nonviolent actions, campaigns and movements. At its core, cultural resistance is a way of reclaiming our humanity, and celebrating our work as individuals and communities. Cultural resistance tactics are particularly powerful because they serve multiple purposes. They inspire us to own our lives and invest in our communities, while building capacity for local leadership. These creative and artistic tactics provide a fun way for people to get involved!

Physical spaces as catalysts for greater digital citizen participation

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Thank you for joining Rising Voices, Social Media Exchange (SMEX) and the New Tactics online community for an online dialogue on Physical spaces as catalysts for greater digital citizen participation from August 8 to 14, 2012.  Across the globe, new physical spaces are emerging that are acting as catalysts for greater citizen participation using digital technologies. Community libraries are rethinking their traditional role, and many are now offering internet access to their users in order to provide opportunities to gather around local issues where they can produce, not simply consume information. Telecenters are going beyond providing computer access to communities, to providing workshops to train citizens on how to use digital technology effectively to promote change. Hacklabs offer a physical space where activists and technologists can come together to find innovative solutions to local problems. These are just a few examples of the innovative use of physical space to encourage and empower greater digital citizen participation.

Tactics for sustaining the well-being and security of defenders

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Thank you for joining Analia Penchaszadeh and Katherine Ronderos (co-facilitators) of the Women Human Rights Defenders Initiative, Association for Women's Rights in Development for this important conversation! This dialogue was an opportunity to explore the innovative ways that practitioners promote and support their well-being, self-care and security as well as their colleagues.  New Tactics has hosted a series of dialogues on keeping human rights defenders safe and well.  From this base of individuals, organizations and information, we hosted a dialogue that focused on the next steps and tactics in sustaining the well-being and security of defenders, with particular attention paid to the needs of Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs).  

Archiving Human Rights for Advocacy, Justice and Memory

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Thank you for joining Grace Lile of WITNESS and the New Tactics community for this conversation on archiving. Archiving and preservation have long taken a backseat to more urgent aspects of human rights documentation and advocacy, but that is beginning to change. Human rights archives are increasingly playing a pivotal role in advocacy, restorative justice, historical memory, and struggles against impunity. At the same time, however, archivists and activists alike are grappling with the mounting challenges posed by the proliferation of digital documentation. How can we ensure that the critical documentation created today will be preserved and accessible in the future?  Dialogue participants discussed the tactics and methods used by archivists to preserve human rights information.

Working with corporations to assess and improve human rights impact

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Corporations can have an enormous impact on human rights - both good and bad.  As corporations become more global, the potential impact on human rights also grows. Targeting governments as the primary duty-bearers for upholding their citizens’ rights, the international community has created a collection of treaties to hold governments accountable for their human rights impact.  Without comparable treaties and mechanisms to define the responsibilities of corporations and hold them accountable, how can we ensure that corporations do not have a negative impact on human rights?

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